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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Adoration of the Christ Child

Photo: Paul Macapia

Adoration of the Christ Child

ca. 1495

Cosimo Rosselli

Italian, Florence 1439-1507

Tondi frequently portrayed the holy family, and they nearly always included John the Baptist, who was Jesus' cousin and the patron saint of Florence. In this image, Joseph and John look notably somber; it was believed that John had foreknowledge of Christ's later suffering and death. Christ's future sacrifice is also intimated by the sheaves of wheat that form his pillow and symbolize the bread of the Eucharist.

Oil and gold on wood panel
Diameter: 37 1/4 in.
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Provenance: Lord Northwick, Thirlestane House, Cheltenham, England, until sale of August 18, 1859, lot 1512 (as Filippo Lippi); (possibly Mr. A.S. Drey, Munich, in 1920, as published in van Marle, Italian Schools of Painting, Vol XI, 1929, p. 614); J.C.W. Sawbridge-Erle-Drax, Esq., "Olantigh," Wye, Kent, England, until 1929 [1]; [sold at Christie's, London, England, June 28, 1929, lot 95 (as Filippo Lippi)]; (possibly in private collection, Milan, dates unknown); [Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi (1878-1955), Rome-Florence, until 1936; Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, October 18,1936 (exhibited Texas Centennial Museum , College of Mines and Metallurgy, El Paso, TX, December 7, 1940 – January 1, 1941, as Cosimo Rosselli); Seattle Art Museum, since 1952, accessioned 1961 [1] All English owners provided by Everett Fahy, Director, The Frick Collection, in a letter dated August 11, 1980
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryEl Paso, Tex., College of Mines and Metallurgy, Texas Centennial Museum, Dec. 7, 1940-Jan. 1, 1941.

Seattle, Wash.: Seattle Art Museum, Italian Painting and Sculptures: Samuel H. Kress Collection, June 24-Oct. 5, 1952. Text by William Suida and Sherman Lee. Cat. no. 14, pp. 7, 10, 17.

Winter Park, Fla., Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Cosimo Rosselli: Painter of the Sistine Chapel, Jan. 15-May 15, 2001.

Published ReferencesVan Marle, Raimond. Italian Schools of Painting: Vol XI. The Hague, Netherlands: M. Nijhoff, 1929; p. 614.

Catalogue of Important Pictures by Old Masters and Portraits of the British Schools, Catalogue Della Vendita. London, England: Christie’s, June 28, 1929.

Tatlock, R.R. “Notable Works of Art now on the Market.” Burlington Magazine 55, no. 321 (1929): p. 1, reproduced p. 10.

Suida, William and Richard Fuller. European Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum, 1954; p. 38, reproduced p. 39.

Foster, I.R., "It's Our Christmas [or Christian?] Art." International Journal of Religious Education (March 1960): p. 19.

Sunday Rotogravure Section, Seattle Times, Dec. 25, 1960; p. 2, reproduced on cover.

Emerson, Guy. "Kress Collection, A Gift of the Nation." National Geographic 120, no. 6 (December 1961): p. 844.

Berenson, Bernard. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works with an Index of Places, Volume I. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1932; p. 222.

Bacci, Mina. Piero di Cosimo. Milano, Italy: Bramante Corp, 1966: pp. 118.

Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XV-XVI Century. London, England: Phaidon Press for the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1968; no. K1049, pp. 120-121, fig. 290, and Addenda to Volume II, v. III, p. 392.

Zeri, Federico. "Shapley, Fern Rusk: Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Italian Schools, XV-XVI Centuries." Burlington Magazine 111 (July 1969): p. 456.

The South District Journal. Seattle, Washington (December 17, 1970); p. 2

Fahy, Everett. “An Altarpiece by Cosimo Rosselli.” Quaderni di Emblema 2 (1973): p. 50-57.

Ishikawa, Chiyo. The Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum, 1997; fig. 15, p. 31.

Gabriella, Edith. “L’impresa Sistina e L’ultimata maniera di Cosimo Rosselli.” Sisto 4 (1997): pp. 203-223.

Il Museo Newsletter of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum Vol. 8, no. 4 (May/June/July/August 2001): reproduced p. 1.

“Legacy of a Renaissance Man.” Sunday Magazine of the Orlando Sentinel, December 24, 2000; reproduced p. 7.

Museum Views: A Quarterly Newsletter for Small and Mid-sized Museums (Winter 2001): p. 1.

Perry, Marily. Studying and Conserving Paintings: Occasional papers on the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, England and New York: The Conservation Center of the Institute of fine Arts, New York University, 2006; 216.

Gabrielli, Edith. Cosimo Rosselli: Catalogo Ragionato. Torino, Italy and New York: Umberto Allemandi & Company, 2007; p. 226.

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